The United States and the Soviet Union agree on the principle that an agreement must be reached to limit the fear and threat of nuclear war. In early March, Russian media reported that Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov had asked his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld at a meeting in January for his views on a hypothetical Russian withdrawal from the FN treaty. The FN Treaty Review Protocol certified reductions through a combination of national technical means (i.e. satellite observation) and on-site inspections – a procedure by which each party was able to send observers to monitor the other side`s elimination efforts upon arrival. The protocol specifically prohibited interference with photo-recognition satellites and the parties were prohibited from concealing their missiles in order to obstruct verification activities. Both sides could conduct on-site inspections at sites in the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as at bases in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany and Czechoslovakia. The end of the FNP treaty should stimulate competition for the use of new INF systems in Europe and/or air and naval forces on and around the continent. The overlay of these two challenges in the area of the stability of the arms race is a third: an arms race that will be stimulated when each side inserts new weapons technologies into its military structure, many of which will be able to put at stake the capabilities of the second blow and defend the national territory against reprisals. On 30 July, the Russian Foreign Ministry rejected US allegations that they were violating the FN treaty. On the contrary, Russia stated that the United States had violated the treaty by testing missiles of similar qualities to medium-range missiles and by producing drones under the GLCM definition. Former Russian Lieutenant-General Jewegniy Buzhinsky called the step “an information war… against Russia. For two decades, the combined effects of the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and nato`s enlargement have brought the border between Russia and the rest of Europe – almost all of its countries, either NATO members or partners – to about where it was after Russia accepted the terms of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty in 1918.
NATO troops are deployed in the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.29 On 21 November, the United States and Russia signed an agreement on inspection procedures for the withdrawal of Votkinsk launchers. The problem of these inspections arose a few years ago after some missiles that left the facility did not follow all the inspection procedures required by the treaty. The contracting parties agreed that Russia would inform the United States of the abandonment of the vehicles and present their “unique identifiers” as those vehicles descended. The agreement defines the technical data to be used for the identification of the starter can when measuring the can and for the image of its contents.